IT technology in vocational education and training - A matter of fact today

Present situation - Current requirements - System-related issues

Sandra Dücker, Franz Schapfel-Kaiser 01

"From my standpoint, it is absolutely necessary that we step up training that uses computer-based systems. Only those companies that heed the signs of the times and make computers, networks and the internet everyday tools - for trainees too - can be successful and competitive in the free market."02

Published: March-10-06 URN: urn:nbn:de:0035-0168-0

Information and communication technology (ICT) applications can be found in nearly all areas of life today. Mastery of these applications has become a broad public issue as the foregoing statement by a trainer in the electrical engineering field shows. It is no accident that the Einstein Year 2005 is being followed by the Computer Science Year 2006 or that large segments of the German government's youth policy programme revolve around training to meet the demands of the information society.03

The following article describes ? from a vocational training point of view ? the situation in the ICT sector and the reactions of the vocational training system and the activities being pursued by vocational training policy in response to the rapid pace of technological developments. A particular challenge being posed by new technologies is their widespread impact. This has lead not only to a revision of formal IT occupations but also to the inclusion of new training elements in nearly all occupational profiles and is placing new demands on the didactics of vocational education and training. Today's fast-changing IT qualifications require a framework:

  • That enables the greatest possible flexibility in organizing vocational training;
  • For trained personnel in not only the vocational training sector but also in the in-company and external continuing vocational training field;
  • For new forms of teaching and learning in light of the unique features of the ICT sector;
  • For permeable educational paths such as from initial and continuing vocational training to universities.

Jump-starting these processes and providing competent support for them is a constant task for vocational training in connection with occupational requirements and the sector's societal mission.

Teaching IT skills is an integral part of nearly all updated or new occupations that require formal vocational training ("training occupation"). These skills qualify the individual for employment in the ICT field which offers a wealth of jobs for IT experts, and for positions in the information and media industry, telecommunications sector plus other fields that revolve primarily around professional services for IT users. These updated and new training occupations have boosted firms' willingness to provide in-house vocational training and have tapped additional training potential, particularly in the IT field. Occupation-related IT skills are extremely important for economic performance. Fostering such skills is a task for both initial and continuing training.

1. The ICT sector has developed from a stand-alone branch of industry to a very significant "enabling industry"

The number of people working in the ICT sector declined during the period 2000 - 2005.04 However, a shortage of skilled workers ? particularly German university graduates with a degree in computer science ? will emerge starting in 2008 according to the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM). According to an estimate of the number of new training contracts that will be needed through the year 2015, demand for training places will start to decline in 2006 for demographic reasons and businesses will find it increasingly difficult to find young skilled workers.05

According to the Fifth Trend Report and Trend Barometer 2005 Monitoring the New Economy,06 Germany continues to be a global leader in ICT markets, an important sub-sector of the German information industry. ICT providers are looking forward to the year 2006 with confidence. The BITKOM mood index revealed that 70 per cent of companies expected sales to increase in 2005. The survey also confirmed growth estimates of 2.4 per cent to € 137.3 billion and found that more firms want to create new jobs than cut jobs. As in 2005, growth in 2006 will be particularly driven by software providers and IT service providers.07 A recent business survey of service providers for the information society also confirmed that positive employment effects are anticipated.08

Today, it is no longer the development of technology but rather its application that is fuelling growth. This goes hand-in-hand with the ICT sector's development into an "enabling industry" which together with its "enabling" technologies is a major factor in the growth of other sectors. This has enormously expanded the areas in which individuals with IT training can find employment. Although the ICT sector continues to be an important source of jobs for IT specialists, these individuals also find a broad range of job opportunities with ICT users in other sectors.09

This makes it all the more surprising that systematic initial and continuing training for occupations in the IT job market was not the subject of discussion for quite a long time. As late as the mid-1990s, up to 80 per cent of all IT specialists were lateral entrants with an unrelated educational background.10 In contrast to trade and industry in Germany, the ICT sector has no tradition of providing in-company vocational training. As a result, people are not sufficiently aware of existing training occupations in this field. In addition, temporary employment is widespread in the ICT sector.

These unusual features of the ICT sector pose very special challenges not only for trade and industry but also for the vocational training system when it comes to creating new training occupations and training places quickly and on a customer-oriented basis. This task involves issues of simplifying training options (particularly for firms that do not have a tradition of providing in-house vocational training) and creating conditions necessary for organizing vocational training in the most flexible way possible.

2. An open and flexible training concept ? The four IT occupations

Formal vocational training for the recognized IT occupations

  • Information technology specialist
  • Information and telecommunications electronics technician
  • Information and telecommunications system support specialist
  • Information technology officer

has been possible since 1997 and for the occupation

  • Information electronics technician

since 1999. As a result, it was possible to balance out declining numbers of new training contracts in other training occupations with a similar job profile. One reason for this was the fact that these new training profiles are a mix of technical, commercial and customer-oriented skills that won over many firms which had not previously provided any in-house vocational training.11 At the same time, these new occupations marked the "dual" vocational training system's (which combines part-time vocational schooling with practical work experience) entry into a field that had been dominated to date by academic degrees and advanced occupational qualifications which require supplementary further vocational training.12
The competition represented by the large proportion of persons in the IT field who have some academic training or even an academic degree also explains why the level of previous education is so high among persons embarking on vocational training for an IT occupation. For example, 47.5 per cent of all first-year information technology specialist trainees in 2003 had already earned qualification for higher education. This figure was 42.6 per cent among first-year trainees for the occupation information technology officer in 2003.13

The core training content for all four of these IT occupations is the same and accounts for some 50 per cent of the training time.14 A combination of electrical, data processing-related and commercial content, this core training provides a foundation of occupational skills that these four occupations share. The fundamental principle behind training for IT occupations is to be activity-based and practice-oriented. As a result, training content does not consist of isolated exercises but rather is learned in the course of in-company projects. This is also the case with the final examination, half of which is an-company project that has to be conducted at the firm providing the in-house training.

Vocational training for IT occupations is therefore geared to work and business processes in actual companies. These occupations are thus hybrid occupations that extend beyond traditional boundaries of technical, organizational, commercial and customer-oriented activities and work routines.

By laying down shared core skills, designing the final examination to be project-based and geared to actual work situations, and drawing up curricula that are orientated to integrated assignments, this training has incorporated elements which, taken together, present an entirely new quality.

Looking at the results of an evaluation of the new IT occupational profiles15 it can be said that they have proven themselves in practice and are accepted by companies. The fact that part-time vocational school structures do not, to date, suit occupations that cross-cut existing occupational fields is one point that is viewed with a critical eye. By the same token, vocational instructor training that follows the discipline-based structure of universities appears in part to be outdated. The evaluation also showed that 40 per cent of firms that provide in-house vocational training - particularly smaller companies - do not agree with the functional and chronological structure of the training requirements.

One of the most important reasons for a company to provide in-house vocational training is to meet its own needs for new employees with specialized IT training that reflects the company's operations and requirements. This is also closely connected to the fact that the labour market cannot meet demand for skilled IT workers. A preference for IT specialists with a university degree is one important reason why firms do not provide in-house vocational training for the new IT occupations. For more than half of the companies affected, a lack of trainers (or a lack information about appropriate instructor training) is another important reason not to become involved in providing vocational training. The Trainer Aptitude Ordinance was suspended for five years starting in the summer of 2003 in order to make it easier for new businesses or companies that have not provided in-house vocational training to date to start offering training.16

The first regular final examinations based on the new concept being used in IT vocational training were held in 2000. The first evaluation of the examination concept and its implementation was conducted parallel to this round of examinations in an explorative study that was part of an online survey.17

Following a short start-up period, training levels for the four IT occupations grew rapidly between their introduction in 1997 and the year 2001, as Chart 1 shows:

  1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Information technology specialist 1.778 3.898 6.192 9.479 10.506 8.170 7.459 7.628 7.437
Information technology officer 772 1.404 1.983 2.496 2.991 2.304 1.830 1.767 1.564
Information and telecommunications electronics technician 1.484 2.165 2.839 3.429 3.634 3.186 2.917 2.600 2.521
Information and telecommunications system support specialist 755 1.452 2.089 2.959 3.027 2.544 2.309 2.386 2.286
Chart 1: New training contracts for one of the four IT occupations (entry into effect: 1997) Source: Federal Statistical Office, survey from 31 December. Figures for 2005 are from the survey conducted by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training as of 30 September 2005.18

The decline seen in the number of new training contracts for the four IT occupations in the years since 2002 goes hand-in-hand with the sharp drop in the number of persons employed in the ICT sector. The latest numbers for 2005 from the BIBB survey on 30 September confirm this trend.

3. IT skills in demand not only for the new IT occupations

One major challenge posed by these transversal requirements is to make the use of new I&C technologies an indispensable element of the core curricula for not only new occupations that require formal vocational training ("training occupations") but also for time-tested ones. The curricula for existing training occupations in all sectors need to be changed or supplemented (new subjects, additional modules, innovative structures) - and this will involve re-thinking existing training structures.

The Confederation of German Employers' Associations surveyed member associations, educational organizations and companies in August 2000 regarding skills that will be needed in IT and media occupations in the future. In the area of "IT and media skills as a transversal requirement in other occupations", the findings underscored the need to add an IT technology focus (PC skills, standard software, internet communication, searches and internet language skills) to the shared occupational profile requirements Nos. 1 - 4 when all training occupations are updated.19

An analysis of the 10 most popular training occupations for skills of relevance for the ICT sector reveals which requirements are of great importance to how occupational profiles and corresponding vocational training across a wide range of occupations will develop in the future. It turns out that information and communication knowledge and skills are in demand to various degrees in nine out of ten training occupations for operating IT systems.

IT knowledge and skills20 are one focus of instruction for a period of three to five months during the first year of vocational training for the occupation management assistant for retail services - which reported the largest number (28,773) of first-year trainees in 2003.21 The training regulations for the "cross-sectoral" occupation industrial clerk (revised regulations in effect since 2002) provide for teaching an integrative approach to process knowledge as well as IT-application know-how and cross-sectoral knowledge which is to be taught and acquired on a cross-sectoral basis during the entire period of training.

The mechatronics fitter (with a total of 20,939 trainees in 2004) is one example for a training occupation that meshes the traditional area of industrial-technical skills with IT expertise. Mechatronics combine the technical fields Mechanical Systems, Electronic Systems and Information Technology into one integrated system. The number of trainees in this occupation is growing particularly rapidly.22

Information technology's penetration into all service sectors has not only created new demands. It also brings with it an opportunity to carry vocational training for relevant occupations more intensively into sectors that vocational training policy has not been able to reach to date. The development of IT (and media) occupations shows that vocational training is entering areas that do not have a long tradition of in-company vocational training. In addition, firms that have expanded their training portfolios have also begun providing training for the new IT occupations.23

4. The IT continuing vocational training system as systematic three-tier vocational training

Looking at the IT sector, the continuing training market is extremely diversified and is dominated by manufacturer and product-related offerings. Germany's chambers of commerce and industry and its chambers for small and medium-sized enterprises conduct final examinations for 45 different certificates. Nationwide, Germany offers more than 300 advanced qualifications.24 In this connection both trainees and firms are faced with the problem that occupational designations are not standardized. This situation can lead to a single designation having a variety of different training profiles and examination content.25 The Federal Employment Agency's KURS further training database offers an overview of initial and continuing vocational training offerings. With listings covering 450,000 activities and some 12,500 providers, KURS is the largest further training database in Germany. Numerically, information technology clearly dominates the range of offerings: One out of every three further training activities listed in the KURS database teaches IT skills (25 per cent for IT specialists and 10.6 per cent for IT users).26

The "disorderliness" of the IT further training market is mirrored by the fact that job profiles in the IT field are subject to rapid change and are not always clearly identifiable. The question of which skills are needed in the job market is determined by the occupational field being targeted. The demand for enabling know-how such as business skills and legal qualifications plus technical knowledge is particularly strong in core and hybrid occupations. According to the Federal Employment Agency's Central Placement Office, the IT sector accounted for only 25 per cent of the some 7,000 IT specialist job vacancies that were reported to the Agency in 2003. The remaining vacancies were reported by user firms where straightforward computer science is less important that a knowledge of the particular industry. This provides an indication of the diversity of occupational structures and the corresponding educational pathways in the German IT sector. The job profiles and work structures in the IT field are subject to constant change and it is possible that the boundaries between "hybrid occupations" and "IT specialists" or "IT users" and "hybrid occupations" are so blurry that defining an occupation-specific canon of knowledge needed to master future work requirements is not always easy.27

The IT-WBS information technology continuing training system was launched in 2002 to develop not only vocational structures in individual segments of the IT sector but also career paths that are of use to IT graduates and lateral entrants on international job markets. The IT-WBS system was also developed to surmount differences between continuing in-company vocational training and continuing school-based vocational training and between formal and informal learning. Another aim was to increase permeability between universities and continuing education.

The following diagram outlines the IT-WBS continuing training system that was created pursuant to the ordinance of 3 May 2002. The IT-WBS was set up as a three-tier system:

  • Vocational training for certified specialist level
  • Upgrading training for operative professional level (4 certificates)
  • Upgrading training for strategic professional level (2 certificates).

Instead of just individual certificates that are more or less linked horizontally with one another, this produces a continuing training system that is organized both horizontally and vertically. This system issues specialist and professional certificates at three different levels via ISO 17024 certification through a private body or an examination conducted by a public body pursuant to Section 52, Para. 1 of the Vocational Training Act.

The aim cited at the start of this article - namely, to develop training options that do not prescribe a specific training pathway as an entrance requirement in order to open the system to drop-outs and lateral entrants as well - is also apparent in the certification that documents IT skills in the course of an output-oriented process. The elimination of entry requirements in the form of formal training certificates makes it possible to recognize informally acquired skills as well. It must be noted however that the "signal" and "exchange" value or, to be more precise, the compatibility and transferability of certificates - particularly at specialist level - remain largely undealt with. The certification of trainees in professional-level occupations is patterned after the (firmly established) example provided by other sectors where the respective chamber of commerce and industry conducts the further training examinations necessary for certification. By contrast, personnel certification - a new path in Germany - was chosen for specialist-level occupations.

All in all, it can be said that certificates earned through the IT-WBS continuing training system still have to prove their worth vis-à-vis "manufacturer-specific certificates" (i.e., certification of mastery of a particular software programme, hardware or sector-specific solution) which still clearly dominate the continuing vocational training market. On the other hand, they represent an innovative examination concept that - analogously to IT training - ties into the concept of occupational competence.28

As part of the preparations for the upcoming amendment of the IT further training ordinance, guidance and support are being provided during the IT-WBS system's implementation and an evaluation of the level of acceptance for the provisions is being conducted. Work in this connection is also examining the IT-WBS system's incorporation into the Bologna Process or, to be more precise, into EU activities aimed at developing and defining IT continuing vocational training programmes.29

The IT continuing vocational training field was chosen as an example for a point-based credit transfer system. As part of a BIBB research project, tools were developed for use in ascertaining credit points in the IT continuing vocational training field and then tested to determine their practicability.30 This was a particular challenge because Germany's vocational training system had had no previous experience with granting credit on the basis of a credit point system. Such a system also entailed a qualitative evaluation of the skills to be acquired. Thus, using the tools set up by the project, the skills required for the operative professional level could be evaluated for the first time. Corresponding credit points were then assigned at this level. The evaluation conducted by IT experts and the corresponding allocation of credit points made it clear that certificates and competences for all four operative professional-level occupations are generally on par with a bachelor's degree. It is assumed that the process developed during this project can also be applied to other training levels in the IT-WBS continuing vocational training system, to initial vocational training and to other occupational fields.

5. New forms of learning and teaching

The ICT sector is marked by rapid innovation and change, by forms of work that involve a high degree of individual responsibility and self-organization, and a growing informatization of work processes. This sector is a core segment of the knowledge society and can be considered "paradigmatic" for the changing demands being placed on learning and work.31 The importance of in-company forms of learning and working which enable informal and formal on-the-job, process-based learning is also closely linked to these changing demands. Another hallmark of the ICT sector is the planning and implementation of complex projects, market and customer orientation, business-process orientation and an integrated approach to task performance. This makes it absolutely necessary to integrate new forms of learning and new learning goals into vocational training - such as intensifying on-the-job learning, integrating e-learning and using business processes as a structural basis for training. In the main, firms in a very broad range of training fields call for improving training in IT technologies.32

The Cologne-based Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft business research institute asked trainers and personnel directors in the summer of 2002 for suggestions on how the vocational training system could be improved.33 Approximately two thirds of the companies surveyed felt that increasing the amount of learning done with the help of multimedia, the internet or intranet would be a sensible thing to do. Sixty-five per cent said it would be wise to step up investment in training for IT occupations.

Based on the findings of its eSkills Competence study34, the D 21 campaign calls for incorporating computer skills and the internet as the "fourth cultural technology" into all specialized instruction as a standard that is viewed as matter-of-fact.

In contrast to this however, there has been only a partial increase in company support for formal e-learning in Germany in recent years. Looking at firms with more than 500 employees, 60 per cent support using personal computers and the internet for continuing training.35 Here the percentages vary depending on company size and the respective sector. Just a handful of companies integrate online communities, to cite one example of informal e-learning, into their training activities, or set up or support their own or intercompany online communities.36 Given the growing importance of internal knowledge management, one would also expect more intensive use of new media and information technologies. But viewed from this standpoint, there is much less use of technology in in-company initial and continuing training than would be expected. However, the results of a survey conducted during the BIBB project Knowledge Management and In-company Training Work (see Chart 3) indicate that training includes the requisite amount of business-process orientation.

In which direction will training activities in your firm probably develop in the coming years?

Percentage of firms that provide in-house vocational training which consider the particular development "very likely":

Source: Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, BIBB RBS Survey 2/200337

Equipping part-time vocational schools with modern computers and communications technology and having flexible, motivated teachers with up-to-date training are prerequisites for teaching skills that are currently needed. The skills of the instruction and training personnel determine the quality of the training they provide. As a consequence, a growing amount of media-based teaching and learning materials is being developed for instructor training38 and trainers are undergoing instruction in the use of new media, as the offerings and their use in foraus, the virtual forum for this target group, Shows.39

"Experience-directed Learning and Working in IT Occupations" is the focus of an experimental business model40 which works on the premise that the way work and learning for IT occupations are organized should place greater emphasis on the interaction with the particular field of work and that initial vocational training will especially require open forms of learning and organization which structure experience-based learning processes and allow self-organization. An "IT point" is to be created as an interface between trainees and the department concerned to enable practical, process-oriented training that more closely reflects the demands of the new IT occupations.

6. Need for further action and societal requirements

Improve access opportunities for women

Women are markedly underrepresented among IT trainees. They accounted for an average of 13.2 per cent of all trainees for new IT occupations in 2003, a slight decline over the previous year (14.0 per cent).41 A comparison of the individual IT occupations shows that the share of female trainees for the occupation information and telecommunications system support specialist was still comparatively high in 2003 at 28.0 per cent (29.3 per cent in 2002). By contrast, they accounted for only 4.3 per cent of trainees for the occupation information and telecommunications electronics technician in 2003.42 These figures show that efforts have not succeeded in opening up an attractive, new occupational profile for women. They suggest that actual training and occupation content possibly do not play a role when young women choose an occupation because 50 per cent of the training content is the same for all four IT occupations.43 It is striking that those IT occupations with a stronger commercial profile report the largest share of women - in marked contrast to IT occupations whose designation indicates a more technical focus. This clearly illustrates the signal that occupational designations send when individuals are in the process of choosing an occupation. The same applies to the findings of a study on the subject Occupational Designations and Their Influence on Youths' Choice of Occupation44 which BIBB conducted in conjunction with the University of Bonn.

In order to awaken their interest in scientific and technical occupations, girls and women must be given ongoing support during the years from school through vocational training and entry into the labour market. In an RBS survey45 that BIBB conducted on the training of young women in the four IT occupations, firms felt that technology-oriented internships and improved vocational guidance are the most important means for increasing the percentage of women opting to undergo vocational training in an IT occupation. Thirty-five per cent of the RBS firms pointed out that IT occupational profiles have a technical - and thus "male" ? image and that this is one reason why so few women choose an IT occupation.

There are already many activities being undertaken in schools, the vocational training sector, at universities and in the working world. These include Girl's Day46, the Continuing Training for Qualification as an IT Trainer for Women from IT Occupations project47 or the Gender Skills in the IT Field and IT Skills - Communication and Presentation part-time training schemes48 which are being offered through the www.webucation-for-women.net continuing training portal and the BIBB continuing training database www.eldoc.info.

Approaches to integrating youths who require special support

Improving women's opportunities to enter this field is not the only special task for the political sector: Integrating youths who require special support is another. A number of funded projects involving the use of new media and the internet have been conducted since the 1990s.49 Examples include the projects being conducted as part of the current Foster Skills funding programme. These projects focus on developing media skills (Hands on Media)50 and using the internet. Another example is the Bremen Initiative of the International Bund organization which developed an IT basic training certificate and corresponding learning platform for youths undergoing pre-vocational training.51 These activities were preceded by the financing of internet cafés in the open-door youth social work field and by training personnel working in the area of vocational training assistance for disadvantaged persons as part of the Konetti - Internet Skills for Disadvantaged Youths project.52
The Good Practice Database (http://www.good-practice.bibb.de/) set up by the GPC project being conducted at BIBB offers an overview of approaches being taken to assist disadvantaged persons in the vocational training system.

In addition to these activities, special training modules for IT occupations were also developed. These modules have already been used in vocational education and training preparation schemes.53 For example, the Simple IT Systems: Selection and Installation of User Software module was designed as an introduction to training for the occupation information and telecommunications system support specialist. This training occupation is particularly well suited to training modules because IT occupations in general have strong potential for providing assistance and offer enormous potential for independent learning. Further, IT qualification opens the door to good chances on the job market and for transferring to other sectors.54

In light of the anticipated shortage of skilled workers and the rapid change that marks the ICT sector, providing in-company training to ensure a reservoir of qualified workers for one's own company takes on particular importance.55 Building a pool of young, qualified workers by providing in-house vocational training and taking steps to ensure that existing employees are qualified is primarily the responsibility of firms that pursue in their own interest efforts to boost the attractiveness the in-company initial and further vocational training system and to foster gender equality. The vocational training system must continue ensuring conditions that make it possible to provide innovative training that is based on actual work and business processes in real companies. Training cannot be a one-way street here. Particularly in the ICT sector, qualification options that do not require specific educational pathways play a very large role. Being a core segment as well as the motor driving today's knowledge society, the ICT sector is changing the demands being placed on learning and work - an exciting process that not only poses many challenges but also offers a wealth of opportunities.

Selected BIBB publications on this subject

  • Borch, Hans
    IT-Berufe machen Karriere
    Zur Evaluation der neuen Berufe im Bereich Information und Telekommunikation
  • Borch, Hans
    IT-Weiterbildung hat Niveau(s)
    Das neue IT-Weiterbildungssystem für Facharbeiter und Seiteneinsteiger
  • IuK-Technologie. Portal zur Wissensgesellschaft
    Dokumentation einer Fachtagung des Bundesinstituts für Berufsbildung vom 19. bis 21. November 2001 im Wissenschaftszentrum, Bonn
    mit CD-ROM
  • Interaktive Medien des BIBB - Praxisbeispiele und Theorie
    Auf dieser CD befindet sich ein Informations- und Lernsystem das an Hand von Praxisbeispielen allgemeine theoretische Grundlagen des computergestützten Lernens beschreibt.
  • 1

    This report is based on documents from a KIBB survey of experts on the subject "Overview of initial and continuing training in connection with the ICT sector".
    The survey was processed by Sandra Dücker and Franz Schnapfel-Kaiser plus Christiane Lehmhus, Hans Borch, Dr. Alexandra Uhly, Dr. Elisabeth Krekel and Herbert Tutschner (all from BIBB). Information regarding the processing of this survey through the KIBB project and the results from other surveys can be found in German at: http://www.kibb.de/rd/anfrage.html

  • 2

    Quote from a trainer in the electrical engineering trade. From: Fogolin, A.; Zinke, G.: Mediennutzung als Indikator für Ausbildungsqualität. In: BWP, No. 6, 2005, p. 14

  • 3

    As stated in the government's youth policy programme: "Young people's IT skills are to be further improved. This will require first and foremost integrating new media into education in general and into initial and continuing vocational training in particular." (Bundestagsdrucksache 14/7275, p. 6, German download at: http://dip.bundestag.de/btd/14/072/1407275.pdf.),The German-language homepage for the Computer Science Year: http://www.informatikjahr.de/

  • 4

    Cf. Erwerbstätige in der IKT-Branche 2000 - 2005. Source: BITKOM, Federal Statistical Office

  • 5

    German version of the Report on Vocational Education and Training for the Year 2005, p. 201 and Table 78 "Estimates of the number of new training contracts that are necessary through the year 2015".

  • 6

    Cf. Monitoring the New Economy, Fifth Trend Report and Trend Barometer 2005 commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour, April 2005

  • 7

    BITKOM press release dated 6 December 2005: Branche blickt mit Zuversicht ins Jahr 2006

  • 8

    Press information issued by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) on 12 January 2006: Dienstleister der Informationsgesellschaft: Konjunkturelle Stabilisierung auf hohem Niveau führt erstmals zu positiven Beschäftigungseffekten

  • 9

    Cf. Dostal, W.: IT-Arbeitsmarkt: Chancen am Ende des Booms. IAB-Kurzbericht, No. 19 dated 21 August 2002

  • 10

    Ehrke, M.; Hesse, J.: Das neue IT-Weiterbildungssystem - Eine Neuordnung mit hohem Reformanspruch. In: Gewerkschaftliche Bildungspolitik, No. 11/12, 2002, pp. 4-8   

  • 11

    Borch, H.; Weißmann, H: IT-Berufe und Geschäftsprozesse - eine Herausforderung an das Bildungssystem, In: Borch, H; Weißmann, H. (Ed.): IT-Berufe machen Karriere. Zur Evaluation der neuen Berufe im Bereich Information und Telekommunikation, Bonn 2002, p. 53 ff.

  • 12

    "This (the new IT occupations) made it possible to offer modern vocational training in the IT field in the dual vocational training system as well and broke the existing dominance of university training."
    (Diettrich, A.; Kohl, M.; Molzberger, G.: Kompetenzorientierte Prüfungen und Zertifizierungen in der Berufsbildung - Zum Umsetzungsstand in der IT-Aus- und IT-Weiterbildung. In: bwp@, No. 8, 2005, p. 6; German-language download at: http://www.bwpat.de/ausgabe8/diettrich_etal_bwpat8.shtml)

  • 13

    Cf. the German version of the Report on Vocational Education and Training for the Year 2005, Figure 22: Education levels of first-year trainees in selected new occupations, in percentage

  • 14

    Borch, H.; Schwarz, H.: Die Berufe der Informations- und Telekommunikationstechnik - Zur Konzeption und Entwicklung der neuen IT-Berufe, In: Borch, H.; Weißmann, H., vide ante 2002, p. 12 ff.

  • 15

    Borch, H.; Weißmann, H.: IT-Berufe und Geschäftsprozesse - eine Herausforderung an das Bildungssystem, In: Borch, H.; Weißmann, H., vide ante 2002, p. 51 ff.

  • 16

    Regarding the effects of the suspension of the AEVO, please see the German-language findings from an evaluation of the 2003 IAB Establishment Panel survey at: http://www.kibb.de/rd/wlk23868.htm

  • 17

    The findings from this evaluation are documented in a lead article by Margit Ebbinghaus on the BIBB homepage dated 5 September 2003 "IT examination: The debate continues",http://www.bibb.de/de/7047.htm

  • 18

    These figures are based on another sample frame and are not directly comparable.

  • 19

    Cf. Klein, H.: Aktuelle Umfrageergebnisse und Impulse für die Berufsbildung, In: Kuratorium der Deutschen Wirtschaft für Berufsbildung (Ed.): Herausforderungen der New Economy für Bildung und Berufsbildung. Bonn 2001

  • 20

    Ordinance on the vocational training in retail trade for the training occupations sales assistant for retail services and management assistant for retail services, Federal Law Gazette, 16 July 2004

  • 21

    Source: Survey dated 31 December 2003: Number of new training contracts, Federal Statistical Office

  • 22

    Cf. BIBB initial and continuing vocational training statistics in German at: http://www2.bibb.de/tools/db_aws/dtazub.php

  • 23

    As a consequence, BIBB also expanded its training portfolio in 2005 with the addition of a vocational training profile for the occupation specialist in media and information services.

  • 24

    Borch, H.; Weißmann, H.: IT-Weiterbildung mit System. Betriebliche Karrierestufen für IT-Fachkräfte. In: BWP, No. 3, 2002, p. 7

  • 25

    Cf. Weißmann, H.; Borch, H.; Wordelmann, P.: Evaluation des IT-Weiterbildungssystems. Erster Zwischenbericht. Unpublished manuscript, BIBB, Bonn 2004

  • 26

    Report on Vocational Education and Training for the Year 2005, German version p. 264 f.

  • 27

    On the other hand, it could also be assumed that during times of crisis, professionalization in the IT specialist field will become an increasingly important factor for access to the labour market because company recruitment strategies will become more stringent and lead to tighter selection. The chances for lateral entrants would accordingly decrease (Cf. Dostal, W., ante vide 2002, p.7).

  • 28

    Cf. in particular: Diettrich, A.; Kohl, M.; Molzberger, G. ante vide 2005, who also note critically, "... could the rather modest level of acceptance of the IT WBS system .. be a sign that the work-process-based learning and examination concept is viewed as expensive and, in terms of traditional certificate-directed learning in the vocational training system, as not particularly effective for achieving the goal of earning a certificate." p. 21 f.

  • 29

    Further information about the IT-WBS system is available in German at: http://www.bibb.de/de/wlk9992.htm

  • 30

    Cf. Mucke, K.: Final report for the "Leistungspunkte am Beispiel der IT-Weiterbildung" project, 2003 in German at: http://www.bibb.de/de/wlk8575.htm

  • 31

    Schütte, M.; Carus, U.; Gamer, M.; Meschkat, A.: Erfahrungsgeleitetes Lernen und Arbeiten in IT-Berufen, In: BWP, No. 5, 2005, p. 18

  • 32

    Cf. Schröder, H.: Die berufliche Bildung aus Sicht unternehmensnaher Dienstleistungen. In: Kuratorium der Deutschen Wirtschaft für Berufsbildung, ante vide 2001

  • 33

    Cf. iwd - Informationsdienst des Instituts der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln, No. 28 from 10 July 2003 (152 firms in a wide variety of sizes with a total of 1.9 million employees participated in the survey.)

  • 34


  • 35

    2003 IAB Establishment Panel survey, Report on Vocational Education and Training for the Year 2005, German version p. 243 ff.

  • 36

    Report on Vocational Education and Training for the Year 2005, German version p. 244 f.

  • 37

    Further findings from the project "Wissensmanagement und betriebliche Bildungsarbeit" are available in German at: http://www.bibb.de/de/wlk8399.htm

  • 38

    As in the Fit in e-business and MultiQua projects that specifically target the training personnel at part-time vocational schools and in-company instructors and make use of e-learning and CDs to qualify participants for the use of new technologies in training (Report on Vocational Education and Training for the Year 2005, German version p. 174ff.).

  • 39

    http://www.foraus.de/lernzentrum/lernz_set.htm; Chart 11 (Most-used areas in foraus 2001-2004) used in the presentation of the Science Council's evaluation of BIBB in the spring of 2005 shows that an average of 800 users a month access the learning modules, two of which are expressly dedicated to new media and their use in vocational training. Cf. also the audit recommendations regarding the Federal Ministry of Education and Research's funding area New Media in Vocational Education and Training from September 2004. German version available at: http://www.dlr.de/pt_nmb/BeruflicheBildung/BMBF_neue_medien_in_der_beruflichen_bildung.pdf

  • 40

    Schütte, M. et al, ante vide 2005, p. 18 ff.

  • 41

    Report on Vocational Education and Training for the Year 2005, German version p. 112

  • 42

    Ibid. p. 114: Table: Trainees for the new occupations by gender, 2002 and 2003

  • 43

    Cf. Zybell, U.: Berufsorientierung, Geschlecht und Moral. Colloquia im BIBB, Bonn 2005

  • 44

    Cf. http://www.bibb.de/de/wlk8276.htm and BIBB Press Release 33/2004 from 23 September 2004

  • 45

    Survey of 758 firms from the BIBB Reference Company System ("RBS") 2000, cf.: Dietzen, A.: Junge Frauen in Zukunfts-Berufen - IT-Berufe auf dem Prüfstand, In: Borch, H.; Weißmann, H., ante vide 2002, p. 143 ff.

  • 46

    22.3 % of the companies that took part in Girl's Day in 2005 said that girls who had participated in these activities in previous years later applied for training places in technical, scientific, skilled or IT occupations.

  • 47

    This project targets women who have an IT occupation but no experience as a trainer and firms in the IT field that would like to set up corresponding training places for IT occupations: www.it-ausbilderinnen.de

  • 48

    Report on Vocational Education and Training for the Year 2005, German version p. 246

  • 49

    Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Ed.): Berufliche Qualifizierung Jugendlicher mit besonderem Förderbedarf - Benachteiligtenförderung. Bonn 2002, Kapitel 6: Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie in der vorberuflichen und beruflichen Bildung. pp. 261-292

  • 50


  • 51


  • 52

    The INBAS project Konetti received funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research from 2000 through 2004 with the aim of improving the IT skills of training personnel working in the area of assisting disadvantaged persons in the vocational training system.

  • 53

    Report on Vocational Education and Training for the Year 2005, German version p. 187 f.

  • 54

    Ibid. p. 188. Nonetheless, one can be sceptical about the chances that disadvantaged youths can be integrated into IT training occupations. Firstly, because youths with high formal education certificates and university drop-outs are accepted for vocational training in IT occupations. Secondly, these occupations are in very strong demand among youths.

  • 55

    "Vocational training for technical and scientific occupations and ICT certificates must be progressively developed on a continual basis. The number of in-company training places in such occupations must be increased." Kremer, M.: Die Ausbildung für IKT-Berufe muss weiterentwickelt werden. In: Accompanying documentation to the annual conference of the D21 campaign 2005. p. 56, available in German as a download at: http://www.initiatived21.de/druck/news/publikationen2005/doc/59_1132220599.pdf

Date of publication, information Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

Publication on the Internet: March-10-06

URN: urn:nbn:de:0035-0168-0

Die Deutsche Bibliothek has archived the electronic publication "IT technology in vocational education and training - A matter of fact today", which is now permanently available on the archive server of Die Deutsche Bibliothek.

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